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Romania:
Geography

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Background
Definition
The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia - for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - secured their autonomy in 1856; they united in 1859 and a few years later adopted the new name of Romania. The country gained recognition of its independence in 1878. It joined the Allied Powers in World War I and acquired new territories - most notably Transylvania - following the conflict. In 1940, Romania allied with the Axis powers and participated in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR. Three years later, overrun by the Soviets, Romania signed an armistice. The post-war Soviet occupation led to the formation of a Communist "people's republic" in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of dictator Nicolae CEAUSESCU, who took power in 1965, and his Securitate police state became increasingly oppressive and draconian through the 1980s. CEAUSESCU was overthrown and executed in late 1989. Former Communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Romania joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.
Location
Definition
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine
Geographic coordinates
Definition
46 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references
Definition
Europe
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 237,500 sq km
land: 230,340 sq km
water: 7,160 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 2,508 km
border countries: Bulgaria 608 km, Hungary 443 km, Moldova 450 km, Serbia 476 km, Ukraine (north) 362 km, Ukraine (east) 169 km
Coastline
Definition
225 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate
Definition
temperate; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms
Terrain
Definition
central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Plain of Moldavia on the east by the Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Moldoveanu 2,544 m
Natural resources
Definition
petroleum (reserves declining), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt, arable land, hydropower
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 39.49%
permanent crops: 1.92%
other: 58.59% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
30,770 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
42.3 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 6.5 cu km/yr (9%/34%/57%)
per capita: 299 cu m/yr (2003)
Natural hazards
Definition
earthquakes, most severe in south and southwest; geologic structure and climate promote landslides
Environment - current issues
Definition
soil erosion and degradation; water pollution; air pollution in south from industrial effluents; contamination of Danube delta wetlands
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
controls most easily traversable land route between the Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine


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